Monday, August 25, 2014

Loose Ends

TIMP Update:

This past weekend there was an attempt on the TIMP course for an ITT, (Individual Time Trial), finish which turned out to be thwarted by rains and hot, humid air. That makes for three attempts with none being successful, as far as the ITT style attempt goes. Overall there has been 12 attempts at the course. The three aforementioned ITT attempts, and 9 "Group Style" TIMP attempts, where folks could try the cross state route in the company of others. Of those 9 attempts, only six were ultimately successful.

With less than one week remaining in August, I only am aware of one possible ITT attempt that might happen. We'll see, but suffice it to say, this route is a tough nut to chew. A few things jump out at me right now........

A muddy B Road on the TIMP course, (Image by Al Brunner)
First of all, the old saying that Jeff Kerkove coined about Trans Iowa still rings true: "The weather is the wild card....." Which brings me to the following....

More than once, folks have asked me, "Why not run Trans Iowa later in the year so the weather isn't such a factor?" I've always held that every season has its own peculiarities when it comes to weather and that by moving the date of Trans Iowa all you do is introduce some new possibilities for weather that could shut down any rider. Witness two of the three failed ITT attempts and at least one of the failed Group attempts as examples of this. Want another example? The B Level roads at this Spring's Trans Iowa were all rideable, all eleven of them. Not so on TIMP this year. Summertime didn't help that at all.

And then you have heat, humidity, and contrary winds, not to mention heavy rains, which played a part in every TIMP attempt this Summer. Let's not even get into the mental and physical fatigue issues.

So, I hope this answers that old, tired question about Trans Iowa's date. Whenever Trans Iowa might be scheduled, "the weather is the wild card." That much I know for certain. You may get a "hall pass" and the weather might be great, but more likely than not, the weather will play a big, and perhaps deciding role, in any Trans Iowa-like event. At least in Iowa! 

If you were supposed to get a finisher's certificate for a TIMP attempt that was successful, I have them in the mail now. I waited on sending out the four I was sitting on to see if I had to do two others, but both those attempts failed. So, I apologize for the delay, but I was wanting to knock all of that out at one time.

With less than a week to go, I figured I was in the clear for any possible certificate mailings, that is until I heard about another possibility Saturday. It isn't scheduled, or even in process yet, but that may change very soon. Stay tuned.......

Finally, a warning: If you ever thought you might want to attempt the route, go to the Trans Iowa Masters route pages HERE and HERE and copy them NOW! After August 31st, the info is being pulled and will never be made public by me again. The TIMP is a one time deal and will never be repeated. (So yes- those links will be broken after August 31st!!) Obviously, I will not sanction, approve of, or recommend that the route ever be done in any shape or form officially since I cannot guarantee the route's safety or existence after the 31st. If you copy it and try it, you are responsible for your own actions. Nuff said...........

 Trans Iowa Clinic: 

The Trans Iowa Clinic was a big success last year, judging by the reactions and feedback I received from it. I was down in Des Moines Saturday and I have confirmed that the same venue we used last year is available again for another clinic. Some of the same folks that were involved last year will also be involved again this time, but we hope to bring in a few more in an "official" capacity. (And we have already confirmed a couple of you that asked to be a part of another T.I.Clinic)

All that said, we have a lot of things on the table for discussion on this year's version of the clinic. These include, but are not limited to, the following....

  • An earlier date, even before Registration for T.I.V11 happens. Possibly late September/early October? The registration may be announced at the clinic, and perhaps even an actual registration of Finishers and Vets may take place on the premises. (Don't get too excited, I am just throwing out ideas..)
  • The clinic may include an actual ride on gravel, as long as the date does not interfere with any cyclo cross event in the area, which admittedly, might be hard not to do.
  • Last year there was interest in a video of the roundtable portion of the Clinic. If there seems to be any interest in this again, we can possibly work on that this year. Should we show "300 Miles Of Gravel" again?
  • Last year we had an "expo" of actual equipment used in Trans Iowa. If this seemed profitable, we can recreate this again. Perhaps bring in a local shop to help? Ideas??
  • Last year we had requests to do another T.I.Clinic in another location. If we were to do that, where else other than Des Moines should we consider this?
Okay, that's all I have now. If you are at all into Trans Iowa, or gravel events, let me hear from you in the comments or e-mail me your thoughts.

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